scientific method or more recently referred to as scientific inquiry
is what most educational experts feel students should learn through
science. A science fair project takes students step-by-step through
this process : State the problem, Gather information, Form a hypothesis,
Test the hypothesis, State a conclusion, Report results.
All of these steps are
covered in a science project. Students are more likely to internalize
this process if they have to actually walk through it rather than
simply memorizing the steps for a test. The project is extremely time
consuming on the part of the student and the teacher but does provide
students a hands-on opportunity to “demonstrate the skills necessary
to engage in scientific inquiry.”
1.0 The Value of
a Science Fair Project
4.0 Materials and
6.0 Data Analysis
8.0 Research Paper
The Abstract is a short summary of the project and includes the
key highlights of the experiment: purpose, procedure, and conclusions.
and Hypothesis: The question that they are trying to answer with
their experiment. Be sure they clearly state their hypothesis at
of Literature: Background information that reflects the knowledge
they have acquired, through their research on the topic and for
the experiment. They should be providing the reader with useful
background information for their project.
and Procedure (Research Plan): This is essentially the research
plan. They should be certain to include a list of all materials
that were used in their experiment and how they were used. It is
best to present the procedure in steps and to include as much detail
as possible about measurements and techniques in each step.
A precise recap of what they found out in their experiment, focusing
on their observations and data, leaving all interpretation for the
• Conclusion: A summary of their interpretation of the data and
results of the experiment. They should restate the hypothesis and
whether they found the hypothesis to be true or false. They should
also comment on how the results of the experiment satisfied their
9.0 Display Board
At the science
fair, the display is the focal point of the project and contains all
of the information about the project.
Scientists study how nature works; engineers create new things such
as machines, programs, and techniques. Because engineers have different
objectives than those of scientists, they follow a different process
in their work.